How Buena Lanes increased sales and efficiency through Partywirks
Buena Lanes is a modern, full service-bowling center in Southern California. With 42 lanes, an arcade, diner, snack bar and party rooms, Roger and his team run a fast paced operation.
Roger Heap, General Manager
The Challenge: time vs. personal touch
Staff members were very busy handling league sign-ups and meetings, group events, tournaments, staffing, food and beverages as well as all accounting functions. On top of that, routine calls would take up a lot of their time. They wanted to save time and make customers happy, too.
“Our main goal was to reduce the number of phone calls that we had to process. Not that we are unhappy when people call, but phone calls take up a lot of time, customers don’t necessarily like to play phone tag and most are calling with routine questions that could easily be answered online.”
Prior to using Partywirks, their center manager would receive in excess of 25 to 30 phone messages on her return to work on Monday mornings. Roger described the phone tagging process as “crazy”.
While they wanted to save time, their biggest concern was that they didn’t want to lose personal touch with their customers by not talking to them personally on the phone. They describe themselves as having always been hands on with all of their reservations, whether it’s a birthday, group, day care center, etc.
They use the Partywirks forms to detail exactly what each package and add-on offers. Furthermore, they use our questionnaires to gather all the necessary information that they need for each event.
Additionally, through the inquiry forms, if a customer has a question, they can now send a request form, which will immediately go to the managers.
They call each customer who books online to confirm his or her reservation in addition to the email that is automatically sent out by the Partywirks system. This gives them the personal contact they have always felt necessary and they can push add-on sales at that time and thank them for their order. “Everyone is happy with this arrangement.”
- Buena Lanes updated their voicemails to direct callers to their website where they can book online.
- They updated their website to feature online booking.
- The bowling alley put banners and fliers in their building to get people’s attention.
- Messages about online booking in their advertising have been added.
- Staff have been trained to direct customers to the online booking center.
They use the admin side of the Partywirks system to check each morning if any new reservations have come in before they book any phone or walk-in reservations.
“Phone calls have been reduced by 75% with absolutely no loss of income! We have nearly eliminated phone tag and now give customers the answers they are looking for at the time they are looking for them. That has improved customer service and I’m sure saved some sanity.
“We spend less time on the phone whether it is a birthday party, group or inquiry. This customer is ready to buy and they spend more $$$$ than originally planned. Good for us!
“We view Partywirks as more of a customer convenience tool then labor saving tool. Customers arrive better informed when they book online.”
“The market has shifted, people like to go on line for everything today. Not only are they booking an event, they are doing it at the most convenient time for them and they are having fun doing it. In fact, this is so popular party sales are up 20% and that is saying a lot in this tough economic climate.
“Our customers now process 50% of their own orders online and are happy to have the chance to do so! In addition, our add-on sales for birthday parties have increased which has allowed us to increase our per-ticket item on these parties. I think add-on sales are up because customers like to see the actual item they are going to purchase and with Partywirks they can view nice color pictures of each add-on, full descriptions and per-item pricing then put these party add-ons in their shopping cart at the same time they are booking their party or event.
“Customer reaction is very positive due to the fact that the system is very self-explanatory.”
“We didn’t lose personal touch with our customers. People are very used to using the Internet for business such as booking a hotel room, travel, whatever so in many cases they expect this type of service.
“We have now, what Partywirks calls “personal choice”. With Partywirks personal choice we have now given our customers the option of letting them choose how they want to do business with us. Those who like to call can still call, others can drive on over and see us in person but now 50% of our customers have voted with their mouse and are booking online, it really works.
“Interestingly 95% of bookings seem to be from women. We believe these are working women who have limited number of hours in a day. They can go home from work, or even use Partywirks while at work, and schedule an event at their convenience. A majority of group sales and inquires are also booked by women who know we are here for business purposes. This is exactly why the concept of “personal choice” is so important today. If we are easier to deal with and can eliminate barriers such as phone tag, sales go up.”
Data captured online is more accurate than data captured manually over the phone.
“The # 1 reason to invest in Partywirks is that it works to increase revenue on many levels, for example our group business has increased since using Partywirks by 40%, which has paid for all of our initial start-up cost! It is a no-brainer, slam-dunk!!
“We are over the top delighted with the service and product performance. It has exceeded all my expectations and how often does that happen?
“The Partywirks system has exceeded our expectations when it comes to inquiries and groups. We booked more Christmas parties this past year, which was attributed to the Partywirks system.
“With the guidance of the friendly people at Partywirks, we have had every question answered promptly and efficiently. Additionally, we have asked for changes as well as we feel were upgrades to the system and they were all handled with extreme professionalism.”